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267 Feasibility and acceptability of adding question prompt list links to sms appointment reminders: a mixed methods pilot study
  1. Marguerite Tracy1,2,
  2. Kanwal Singh1,
  3. Heather L Shepherd3
  1. 1General Practice Clinical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  2. 2Drug Health Services, Western Sydney Local Health District, Westmead, Australia
  3. 3Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia


Introduction Question prompt lists (QPLs) show considerable benefits for engaging patients in their healthcare and have previously been implemented with success in lower health literacy populations. QPLs are most valuable just prior to a health care consultation. One method of implementation is to provide QPL links to patients within SMS appointment reminders. The aim was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of implementing QPLs into SMS appointment reminders in a setting where patients attend regularly.

Methods Appointment reminders included a weblink to the Ask Share Know website at a public addiction medicine outpatient clinic in Western Sydney over a 3-month period. Website access data were collected, implementation costs measured, and clinic staff completed interviews about the impact on service delivery and consultation content.

Results The website was accessed 22 times via the link during the study period by 13 people (388 SMS sent, additional cost AUD$15.52). Staff were positive about the potential impacts of patients asking questions and receiving more information. Few noticed any impact of the study on service delivery or patient question-asking behaviour. Suggestions for increasing use and incorporation into usual care were made by staff.

Discussion Whilst cost is feasible, and staff were encouraging about the incorporation of QPLs in routine clinical care there was low uptake of the weblink by patients. High mobile phone turnover of patients and increasing awareness of scams and government messaging not to click SMS links are likely factors reducing future utility of information delivery to patients via SMS. Using alternate strategies to encourage access to the ASK website such as posters in the clinic may have greater impact.

Conclusion Integrating links to the ASK Questions QPL into SMS appointment reminders sent to patients of an addiction medicine outpatient clinic is feasible and is acceptable to staff.

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